This is my final (planned) post on bullet journaling and how it’s working for me. I wanted to get this up in case someone is planning to start this for the new year and would find any of this helpful before setting up their new notebook. (My publish on a future date settings went wrong and this isn’t going out until the 31st when I meant for it to go out on the 26th. Apologies!)
You learn as go with this system, and I’ve spent the last few months trying some things. Some worked, some didn’t. I’m using what worked, and dropping what didn’t. I’m not bothering with any type of doodles or artwork because I don’t find it useful/helpful in any way, but I do use some washi tape and lots of color in the form of markers, pencils, and pens because I like color.
So here’s what I am doing differently in over all setup:
I have my Index pages/columns, but I’ve also made a column for Collections all it’s own. That way when I am looking for a specific collection to reference something in it, I can find it more easily than if I had to read through the entire Index. I don’t always think of things the way I originally named them, so having a shorter list to read through will help me not miss what I am looking for.
And speaking of Collections..
Collections in the back.
I am putting all collections/lists of things I keep for reference in the back of the journal like an appendix.
There will obviously be things that come up as the year goes on that will get mixed into the daily stuff, but generally speaking, it’s going to be in the back.
And for migrating collections from the old to the new? Digitizing, printing, and attaching in the collections from the 2017 book to the new one. That way I don’t waste time writing a whole list again, I can easily alphabetize it, add to it, update, and move it all over again when I move out of this notebook at some future date. I keep all of these as multiple sheets in a single excel file, so it’s easy to wrangle them if I need to with my excel wizardry. I have lists for authors I like to read, audiobook readers I like to listen to, things I want to make, quotes I like, a honey-do List for shmoo, and downstairs freezer contents. Likely I’ll have more in the future, but for now that’s it.
Doubled Future Log; skipped first month.
The Future log is 2 years instead of 1. I started with February and not January because that’s wasted space since the Journal starts with January. And sure, 2 years it’s a long way out, but when a doctor says “ok see you next year” I want to be able to put that appointment in my journal. Also, I like having the long view, and I don’t think I’ll use up this journal in one year based on the number of pages and how many pages I use per month, so 2 years up front is just more practical.
No Monthly Cover Pages
I tried having monthly cover pages for October, November, and December. I just don’t see the point, and in my opinion it’s a waste of a page I could be putting something useful on. I don’t need a mini-calendar I’m not going to look at, an inspiring quote/art, or an indicator that the month has changed. I don’t need a separating page, and if I do, I’ll just leave it blank so I can use it for something else later. For me, each monthly spread page is indicator enough that the month has changed.
I am now placing washi tape on the edges of pages I know will see heavy use in order to help them remain intact and have less wear. Things like the Future Log, Monthly spreads, and certain collection pages are all getting a vertical band of washi on the edge of at least one side of the page to help stabilize the page for heavy use.
So that’s it. Now you know what I know about bullet journaling.